5 Stages of Grief: Breaking Up with an Unethical Brand

Choosing to spend your money on ethical brands may sound simple enough – you find companies that benefit people and the planet, and shop there instead. The real challenge often lies in giving up the brands that fail to meet your values.

Going through a break-up with an unethical brand is hard, but the Good On You community is here to hold your hand through the process! Here’s what to expect when you say “sayonara” to a label you once loved.

Stage 1: Denial

During this initial stage, you may convince yourself you never read that exposé on how Brand Boyfriend’s production process involves child labor and unfair wages. “BB wouldn’t do that, would he? He couldn’t! It’s a conspiracy!”


Stage 2: Anger

Once the truth about your Brand Boyfriend sinks in, so does the anger. You’re angry at the label for not doing a better job, angry that you feel morally obliged to make a change, angry that, well, you can’t buy that floral skirt you’ve been eyeing…because guess what? It’s by Brand Boyfriend.


Stage 3: Bargaining

When the anger settles, you try to compromise. “Maybe if I just spent less time with Brand Boyfriend, you know, change to a more casual relationship? BB probably isn’t all that awful anyway. What’s a little pollution now and then?” This is the point where you need to lock up the credit cards and give someone else the key. Stay strong, ethical warrior!


Stage 4: Depression

This is the phase where you know it’s over between you and Brand Boyfriend, but you can’t picture your life without him. You may feel lost. Who could ever fill that future hole in your wardrobe when BB’s clothes finally wear out? “Those jeans always fit so perfectly. I’ll never find a brand like BB.”


Stage 5: Acceptance

Good riddance, Brand Boyfriend. There are plenty of dresses on the rack, and you know that now. “I’ll find someone new, someone who understands my values and knows what I need in a label.” In time, you’ll find your new favorite jumper, from a carbon-neutral brand that donates to charity, and wonder why you ever thought you’d miss what’s-his-name.


Ready to move on? We have plenty of eligible brands ready to meet you in the Good On You app. Think of it as online dating for your wardrobe!

julia-150x150Julia McAlpine is a freelance copywriter and editor born in sunny California and based in equally sunny Sydney. She can’t pass a bookstore without browsing, and drinks far more coffee than the recommended daily intake. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram as @inkandmoon.

Editor’s note: This article was updated on 24 November by Kendall Benton-Collins. Images via Giphy. Featured image via Pexels.

2 replies on “5 Stages of Grief: Breaking Up with an Unethical Brand

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *